28.04.2013 - 30.04.2013 43 °C
As some of the volunteers have gone on holidays and visa runs we have had the last three days on cubs, it is great to be together back doing what we enjoy the most. We are respinsible for all the big cats at the minute, this includes the big leopards, the jungle cat and although we have yet to get the chance to do it, checking the night cages for the big cats on safari.
Sunday started with cleaning out the leopards. Each leopard gets a chunk of beef with multi vitamins inside but Sunday we also had to give them worming medication. Chelsea sorted out all the meds and managed to fit the massive dose of nine worming tablets into the beef. Once the clean was done and chicken carcasses left for them to eat, Liam drove into the jungle to feed out jungle cat. It is in an enclosure in the middle of nowhere so it can get used to its surroudings and be away from humans for when we hopefully release it. It is too young to fend for itself at the minute so we just visit in a morning and evening to feed and leave water.
Once this was done we went and did the cub walk. It was a difficult one as Tat was really not interested in walking, Liam is nice and patient and lets her get on with it at her own speed, Toi is less patient and is sometimes quite aggresive when persuading her to move. This scares Tat and makes her almost impossible to walk, it can be really frustrating. The rest of the day however was great. The clicker training is going really well, we decided after the morning session that Chelsea did, to move into the cage with her to see how calm she would be with the meat and also to see if you could hand feed her without bars in the way. She did really well and although she got up a couple of times we just waited until he laid back down before clicking and treating we are so happy with the progress we are making. She still needs to practive hand feeding though as sometimes she catches your fingers. In the afternoon we gave Tat a shower, she loves the water and we used the hose pipe on her and she was trying to catch and eat the water. We showered for a good fifteen minutes letting her play in the water and then Chelsea did the hard part of drying her without Tat eating the towel.
Yesterday morning started rather differently as we got up at 6am to go to a morning market before work. We were a little delayed as our bike got a puncture but we borrowed Tat and Neds and drove 7km to Boh Phloi. The market was a usual crazy Thai market, we bought ice coffees, BBQ ckicken on a stick and then some fresh meat, chcken legs and ribs, and a huge fresh fish, the plan was to have a BBQ that night as we had new volunteers.
We had a pleasent suprise on cubs as we had both Latte and Mocha. This involved walking three cubs, one of which, Mocha hardly ever gets walked. As we thought, he went mental, climbing trees, constantly attacking Latte and at one point was on Tats back. He calmed down after a while and we got them all the way. It was a really great day, it was good to see the two loeaprds playing together again and Chelsea kept getting caught up in the middle of it and getting nipped by Mocha. Chelsea has been training Latte not to jump up at eople and it is going really well. if you point your finger and make a loud noise she backs off and has learnt not to jump. With Mocha in the cage though its a different story. They run around all day, jumping and playing and are too excited to do anything with. Latte still didnt jump but Mocha was crazy all day. The training with Tat keeps getting better and we both still have all our fingers......
The BBQ that night never happened. We had the biggest storm we have had since arriving in Asia. Around three inch of rain fell in an hour and everything was drenched. Riding the bike on the dirt roads was extremely hazardous. Especially driving into the jungle to feed the cat. As if that was not enough when Liam finally got there, he found a huge elephant sat in his way. One of the mahouts had tied him up but not knowing how long the chain was and not fancing been rampaged by an elephant decided the cat will survive missing one feed.
Today has been another great day. After a long clean due to the rain yesterday we had an amazing walk in which Tat walked almost the whole way without stopping, a first. We had new volunteers down at the front all day and let them feed the cubs and go and sit with them. Thankfully no-one got bit although Tat gets really excited when anyone new enters her enclosure. Chelsea managed to get the leopards under some sort of control today and even managed to get a paw print from the both of them for her.
We are really happy being back on cubs and want to do as much as we can with them in the time we have. The training is going to be a great acheivement if we can pull it off so we are working hard on that and constaly researching in the eveinings on what might work. Chelsea is even thinking about training Latte with either the clicker or maybe a toy as she absolutely loves playing with her toys. We should have the cubs all to our selves for another few days.